The Kings on Monday started what could become a garage sale, trading center Craig Conroy to the Calgary Flames for center Jamie Lundmark along with a fourth-round pick in the 2007 draft and a second-round pick in the 2008 draft.
As the Feb. 27 trade deadline nears, the deal may be the first of many for the Kings, who are last in the Western Conference.
"There are buyers and sellers and it is safe to say our situation is that of a seller," General Manager Dean Lombardi said. "You have to do the best you can at getting something for the future and getting under the [salary] cap."
Monday's trade did both, he said. The prize was draft picks, particularly the second-round pick in 2008. Conroy, 35, would have made $2.8 million next season, the final year of a four-year, $12.6-million deal. He was expendable to the Kings, who are at least a year away from challenging for a playoff spot. Last season, he had 22 goals as the team's No. 1 center, but this season his numbers fell off sharply. He has five goals and 16 points.
Still, Conroy's skill as a defender and his ability to set up others for goals are valuable to a team such as the Flames, who are fighting for the Northwest Division title.
This is Conroy's second go-around with the Flames. He was a key player in their run to the 2004 Stanley Cup finals, where they lost in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
"This happens every year, where there are teams looking to the future and teams trying to bulk up for the playoffs," Lombardi said. "Teams are looking for a rental situation. We have a few other candidates."
Forwards Derek Armstrong, defensemen Aaron Miller, Brent Sopel and goaltender Mathieu Garon are among those who are in the last year of their contracts.
Lundmark, 26, has no goals and four points in 39 games with the Flames this season.
vs. Calgary, 6 PST, FSNW
Site -- Pengrowth Saddledome.
Radio -- 1150.
Records -- Kings 17-29-6, Flames 26-17-6.
Record vs. Flames -- 1-2-0.
Update -- A Calgary victory gets the Kings to 30 losses quicker than any season since 1987-88. Jarome Iginla has sat out the last 10 games because of a sprained knee, but the Flames have a 6-2-2 record in that time.